What to do if my landlord will not remove a person from my house that is not on the lease?

UPDATED: Sep 10, 2011

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What to do if my landlord will not remove a person from my house that is not on the lease?

This has been going on for about 4 months now. What should I do?

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since this person is not on the lease, they may be considered to be your "subtenant" if they paid you rent; if they didn't pay you rent but lived on the premises with your permission, they will be considered to be a"licensee" (i.e. long term guest) lawsuit.  Either way, you must give them a 30-day notice to vacate the premises.  If they don't leave by the date specified then you, as the lawful occupant, will need to file a "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction). 

If they were a "tenant", that is not your subtenant or licensee, then your landlord would need to file because only landlords can evict tenants. And you should be aware that this person may have achieved the status of tenant if they paid rent directly to your landlord, or if your landlord put (or allowed them to put) their name on the mailbox/doorbell, or if you and this person rented the house together and it was clear that both of you were on equal footing. 

Note: Do not attempt any self help measures. Putting someone out of their home can result in a suit against you for unlawful eviction. Therefore removing personal belongings, changing locks, etc. should not be done. 

At this point, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or tenant's rights organization to find out your legal rights and/or responsibilities.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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